Just an Extra-credit video for an reference:
and I have to ask... As you know Maplestory IS a free-to play game and I have to wounder... is it fair? Like Extra Credit says- dose it focus on "whales" or is it being fair and focusing on Ordinary players AS WELL AS "Whales"
What do you think?
It's almost impossible to take that video seriously, when he's taking his statistics from an episode of south park it just makes me laugh. Although he is technically correct, his points are just common sense being restated over and over. Obviously if you make a game so pay to win that free players have absolutely 0 chance to progress, it will flop.
But that's also why maple is still around. We have people who spend thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars every MONTH to either craft items to re-sell for real $$$, or just on hundreds of PSSBs to get that one ring or cape or other. Royal styles are another thing. Cosmetic and designed to suck your money away to get that one desirable haircut.
But that's how the game was designed, a good majority of it's cosmetic. And there's nothing wrong with that. Cubes are a very popular debate when discussing maple, and there's no denying that initially they made maplestory absolutely p2w, if you weren't dropping money you simply couldn't progress as far as other people (Though at the beginning of the potential... Thing, it didn't matter nearly as much as it does right now). But, as time has gone on, they've introduced things like cube drops from bosses, veins, elites, etc. Not to mention being able to craft them. More recently they've added 10 free cubes (5red/5black) in the rewards shop, which is also really good. Are you going to get legendary off of just 10 cubes? No, probably not, but it's working to entice you to spend more money.
And why is that a good thing? Because this is a FREE TO PLAY GAME. They NEED THAT MONEY. If they can't get a couple hundred dollars from every player every month, they're going to milk the few that constantly spend money. That's the way business works. Comparing hearthstone (as was done in that video) to other f2p games simply isn't valid. It's made by blizzard, chiefly, and they have hundreds of thousands of players in their pocket for WHATEVER they release. On top of that the fact it's so simple (and now on mobile) is designed to get as many spenders as possible because "Oh it's just $2". That and locking entire sections of the game behind a paywall or massive goldsink that would make the 20b items in your FM look like 5 meso price-mistakes makes IT more pay to win than even maple, when compounded with the 1 quest a day limit meaning you have to spend tens of hours to get enough gold for a single arena visit unless you drop the real money on it or just play only a handful of matches a day.
Back to maple though, I think they've done a lot in the last year to improve it. We haven't felt the effects properly in the west, but the west is a unique phenomenon. Hackers and bots run rampant in literally EVERY game's western server, westerners are the biggest purporters of RMT. But things like elites were meant to stabilize economies. As was the auction house but i'm sure nexon's got another horrible excuse as to why it's not in yet. Maybe with the world alliances. My point is, they're working on the complaints. They heard them. Not nexon america, they're just following in KMS' footsteps and taking credit for listening, though I love them for not messing with the patches (too much at least...).
In short, no, I don't think maple is pay to win. Of course, some people think pay to win means being able to pay for any sort of way to get an advantage, even if it's obtainable in the game. That's their opinion, and hey, whatever. Don't blame a company for "milking" players, blame the players who happily throw away $5000 dollars to get legendary pot and bonus pot in a month. How could you NOT exploit that audience, if you have it?